How Construction Is Leveraging Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
It seems like every week there is a new construction app or piece of technology revealed that promises to revolutionise the world. Keeping up with this technology news can be a little difficult to manage, but if there is one piece of tech to follow it should be virtual reality and augmented reality.
What was once thought to be a gimmick has actually proven to be quite useful in the construction field, as virtual and augmented reality has allowed users to tackle problems in a new and exciting way. It is very common to confuse the two as their names are a bit similar but there are many differences and parallels between virtual and augmented reality.
The Skinny on Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is a computer-generated and driven simulation often used to recreate an event or environment that is based on real-life situations. In order to experience virtual reality, a special headset that a person wears over their eyes is needed, such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. It allows the user to immerse themselves by making them feel as if they are experiencing the simulation firsthand.
The Low-Down on Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is a bit different from virtual reality as the technology typically layers computer-generated enhancements on top of existing environments. Augmented reality is usually programmed into apps and used on mobile devices in a way that allows users to blend the real world with digital components. Though augmented reality uses actual environments to function, the digital components can only be seen through the device that the application is running on.
What About Mixed Reality?
Another type of reality is Mixed Reality, which is just a combination of virtual and augmented reality that allows users to interact with virtual objects while being conscious of their environment. It uses equipment such as the Microsoft Hololens.
The benefits of these technologies can seem endless since they can help expedite any construction project. Virtual and augmented reality allows construction companies to create a visual blueprint without wasting time or resources. These blueprints can be shared with project managers all around the world in real-time and can allow site managers to access these blueprints in their office or home.
Virtual reality has the ability to allow users to take virtual tours of the building before the first brick is set, making room for changes to be made to scale. Virtual and augmented reality also gives users the ability to see the progress of the building without actually being on-site, which can save time.
One of the greatest benefits that virtual and augmented realities have to offer is the improved teaching aspect of construction. New methods of construction can be discovered with virtual and augmented reality since it provides a visual representation of each project that can be interacted with.
Gone are the days of using and redrafting blueprints written on paper, as they are simply outdated by technology such as virtual and augmented reality.
The best part is that virtual and augmented technology is becoming cheaper each year, which means that it will become standard in the field of construction. Although no one knows for certain what kind of technology or application will soon be created, it is safe to say that virtual and augmented reality has made a positive and lasting impact on the world and is here to stay.